Sunday, March 31, 2013
One Jason Probst of the Hutchinson, Kansas HutchNews wrote the following, extremely well-written and appropriate opinion piece that was published in their paper today:
TOPEKA - The Great State of Kansas passed away on March 31, 2013, after a long and difficult battle with extremism that became markedly more aggressive in 2010. The struggle left the state so weakened it could no longer fight against the relentless attacks by the fatal disease.
Kansas was born on Jan. 29, 1861.
The state is preceded in death by fair taxation, good highways, strong education, family farms, a good public parks and wildlife system, open government, neighborliness and belief in helping each other out, freely elected public servants, and political moderation.
Kansas is survived by widespread poverty, low-wage jobs, high property taxes, pollution, poorly educated children, outmigration and rural depopulation, foreign land and farm ownership, lobbyist-funded legislators, chronic mistreatment of the disabled, a maniacal hatred of government and children who dream of living anywhere else.
During its early years, Kansas played a pivotal role in the Civil War by staking out a strong progressive stand against slavery. Despite repeated raids from border ruffians, Kansas held firm to the belief of free men and free soil.
Throughout its life, Kansas often aligned with leading progressive causes.
William Allen White, one of the state's most notable residents, once wrote that "if it's going to happen, it happens first in Kansas." That once was true. Kansas was the first state to ban the Ku Klux Klan, and the first to elect women to public office - one as mayor and another as sheriff.
It was the birthplace of the populist movement, rising as farmers and ordinary people grew weary of the Gilded Age politics of the late 1800s and early 1900s that favored investment interests over those of landowners and laborers.
Kansas was a leader in public education, with one-room school houses dotting the plains. A full 12 years before it was a national concern, Kansas established child labor laws that restricted employment of children in potentially dangerous industries.
In the 1950s, Kansas laid the path to civil rights for African-Americans with the historic Brown vs. Board of Education case - the first in the country to rule against a policy of segregation in public schools.
Despite its compassionate nature, Kansas proved to be a state teeming with inventiveness, ingenuity, determination and a savvy sense of business.
Cessna, Beech and Stearman helped establish Kansas as a center of the aviation industry. Coleman launched an international company from Wichita that became a household name. Pizza Hut and White Castle - two iconic eateries - both got their start in Kansas, and the man who helped establish the American automobile industry called Kansas home.
Kansas' history is filled with vibrant, dynamic people. Settlers who claimed land once described as a desert and turned it into the world's garden; immigrants who came by the train-load and brought with them the hard winter wheat that germinated the state's prosperity. Throughout the years, Kansans endured drought, grasshopper plagues, depression and fierce weather, yet its people worked to hold tight to their land and the belief that there was goodness in Kansas. In spite of those hardships, the state produced world-renowned artists, writers, inventors, business leaders, astronauts, even a president.
Kansas was a strong-willed state whose hands were calloused enough to turn up the hardest sod and tender enough to calm a crying child.
Despite its strength and vitality, Kansas couldn't survive the influences of outside political machines that sought to use this fertile ground and its people as a test plot for an ambitious political experiment.
The elections of 2010 and 2012 brought the poisoned pill that would bring about Kansas' untimely end. The first election seated a governor who tossed aside Kansas' storied history and replaced it with a vision of his own design. In 2012, record setting campaign contributions from out-of-state donors financed the defeat of those moderate Republicans who had spent the last of their political careers keeping Kansas alive.
One by one, the things Kansas had spent a lifetime building were dismantled, until the state was rendered as empty and uninviting as it had been in those early days when the first settlers eyed its endless expanse.
Along the way, the state's defenders - the farmer, the laborer, the property owner and the shop keeper - stood mute and passive, hoping for a day when the state would spark back to life, as it had always done before.
They remained silent too long.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Policy Institute, or Americans for Prosperity all in care of Gov. Sam Brownback, Office of the Governor, Capital 300 SW 10th Ave. Ste 241S, Topeka, KS 66612-1590.
Jason Probst is news editor at The Hutchinson News. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
And wouldn't you know, it's the President and not someone in the other political party:
By PETER BAKER and JOHN SCHWARTZ
"The only part of the so-called national wealth that actually enters into the collective possessions of modern peoples is their national debt ... The national debt has given rise to joint-stock companies, to dealings in negotiable effects of all kinds, and to agiotage, in a word to stock-exchange gambling and the modern bankocracy."
~ Karl Marx, Capital Vol. 1 (1867)
One day, when we get away from all the patriotism in this country and confusion of Capitalism with
patriotism, Karl Marx will be viewed with the respect he more rightly deserves.
"...that's how George Bush won the war in Iraq. The invasion was not about "blood for oil", but something far more sinister: blood for no oil. War to keep supply tight and send prices skyward.
Oil men, whether James Baker or George Bush or Dick Cheney, are not in the business of producing oil. They are in the business of producing profits.
And they've succeeded. Iraq, capable of producing six to 12 million barrels of oil a day, still exports well under its old OPEC quota of three million barrels.
The result: As we mark the tenth anniversary of the invasion this month, we also mark the fifth year of crude at $100 a barrel.
As George Bush could proudly say to James Baker: Mission Accomplished!"
Full article here: The Real Reason for the Iraq War | VICE United Kingdom
"Forget global warming, forget war, poverty, disease. What really matters is whether other people, in private, sleep with their own sex."
Friday, March 29, 2013
Can you imagine what not just what the Republicans but America could accomplish if they didn't focus so much on trying to legislate on guns, abortion and women's reproductive rights?
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
"Whatever issue you may be most concerned about -- climate change, widening inequality, declining real median wages, rising poverty among the young, the soaring costs of healthcare, bailouts for Wall Street, the sprawling military-industrial-congressio
--Robert Reich, political economist, professor, author, and political commentator. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. Quote from his Facebook page today.
I say again, we have to work--heck, fight--to get the big, ugly, corrupting money of the wealthy and corporations our of our electoral and political systems. We have to end "campaign contributions."
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Okay so, once again, Kyle James--son of Kansas City Mayor Sly James--is in jail. This above, is apparently his latest arrest photo, too.
Who cares what the reason is. (Well, other than the his parents, anyway).
With this, with him being arrested and put into jail once again, it seems easy and obvious to come to at least a few conclusions about him.
First, he must not learn lessons.
Second, he must not care a fig about his father's political career or personal reputation, let alone his own.
Third, he just can't seem to grow up, mature and take responsibility for his own life and actions.
Sad, very sad, as well as unfortunate and totally, utterly, completely unnecessary.
Monday, March 25, 2013
"Ten years ago this week, the United States started a war that would last for eight years, claiming an estimated 189,000 lives, costing over $2 trillion and causing untold economic and emotional devastation for the Iraqi people. Is there a “conspiracy of silence” over the anniversary of our invasion of Iraq?"
As pointed out in the link below: ""Big media’s culpability in the run-up to the war was explored in a documentary that originally aired onBill Moyers Journal in 2007. Buying the War investigated the media’s pro-war cheerleading in the months preceding the March 19, 2003, invasion. " You can see it here:
Full article here:
This, from NBC News last evening at the same time the Kansas Legislature is cutting $29 million dollars more from the higher education budget:
On college campuses, many students striving to make the grade don’t have enough food to eat. Trying to tackle this challenge, colleges are now bringing food pantries onto campuses, hoping to help students through these tough times.
Across the U.S., safety-net programs aimed at reaching the nearly 1 in 7 Americans living in poverty struggle to reach those in need. Food stamp enrollment climbed to record levels following the recent recession, with nearly 48 million participants in December 2012.
Other states are trying to help their students in college.
Against food stamps and not for a good, "living wage."
Sunday, March 24, 2013
"Sadistic flicks, sea rise, assassination drones: are we up to playing God? A tectonic shift in civilization has never happened this fast before, and we’re still part-chimpanzee with double Ph.D.’s in trial and error. Invent pesticides and see what they do to our organs, sell civilians assault rifles and count the schoolhouse shootings, experiment with longevity and economics, friendship and cellphoning."
--Edward Hoagland from today's New York Times in his article Pity Earth's Creatures
It's a fantastic article with great questions for us. I highly recommend it. It's also brief.
And this is where it gets really funny. And true:
So many of us don't know our history:
Catholic Church enslaved 30,000 Irish women in Magdalene Laundries until 1996
From the article:
Women were locked in, couldn’t leave Magdalene Laundries for months, sometimes years
Singer Sinead O’Connor was perhaps the most famous Magdalene Laundry slaveWhen I was a young girl, my mother — an abusive, less-than-perfect parent — encouraged me to shoplift. After being caught once too often, I spent 18 months in An Grianán Training Centre, an institution in Dublin for girls with behavioral problems, at the recommendation of a social worker. An Grianán was one of the now-infamous church-sponsored “Magdalene laundries,” which housed pregnant teenagers and uncooperative young women. We worked in the basement, washing priests’ clothes in sinks with cold water and bars of soap. We studied math and typing. We had limited contact with our families. We earned no wages. One of the nuns, at least, was kind to me and gave me my first guitar.
This, however, is, for me, the most difficult to believe and hardest to forgive them for: